Typically, serving in the United States uniformed services can be a great honor. The people vested with this job has a lot to sacrifice to protect the public’s rights and freedom, and provide aid and services to those in need. This is one reason why many VA benefits are put into place to pay back the enormous sacrifices required of them. This is especially true if you’re one of them and you’ve become temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of your military service.
However, dealing with the VA benefits can be a daunting process. With all the requirements and procedures to be considered, it’s important that you have an in-depth understanding of these matters to get the most out of them. These can include the eligibility requirements and how they can work for your needs.
Thus, if you’ve been sick, injured or disabled while serving the country, keep reading this article to learn about who’s eligible for VA benefits and how they work.
VA Benefits: Who Are Eligible?
In order to qualify for VA benefits, it’s essential that you meet certain requirements. Generally, a person in the military service may be eligible for VA benefits if they have current injuries or illness that affects their overall wellbeing.
But, to know who are eligible to receive the benefits, below are the requirements to consider from the get-go:
Standard Conditions Required
For a military veteran to be allowed to file a claim for VA benefits, there are conditions that should be complied with. First, the veteran was able to serve on active duty, on active duty for training, or inactive duty for training. Second, a veteran secured a disability rating for their service-related condition.
As a veteran, you should be able to prove the presence of these two conditions in order to qualify for the benefits from the VA. To help you prove them, you may need the assistance of an experienced veteran benefits attorney who knows how to protect your rights and interests as a military veteran who sacrificed many things for the country.
Required Conditions Related To Illness Or Injury
In addition to the conditions listed above, it’s also important that at least one of the following situations are present to be eligible for the said benefits:
- You sustained an illness or injury before joining the military service, but became worse upon serving.
- You became sick or injured while on active military duty.
- You get a disability due to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until the end of your military service.
Medical Conditions Covered
If you have any of the following medical conditions, then you may qualify for VA benefits:
- Breathing issues caused by a current lung disease
- Cancers due to contact with toxic chemicals
- Chronic back pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Problems moving the body
- Scar tissue
- Serious hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injury
Thus, if you want to receive the benefits provided by the Veterans Affairs Office, you should be able prove that you developed one of the aforementioned medical conditions.
VA Benefits: How Do They Work?
Now that you’re aware of who can be eligible for VA benefits, the next step is to get familiar with how these types of benefits work. Typically, military veterans who meet the requirements mentioned above can obtain these benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs:
- Compensation for service-connected injuries – This seeks to compensate disabilities that are service-connected.
- Compensation for non-service-connected injuries – This seeks to compensate veterans with wartime service who are totally and permanently disabled, or who are more than 65 years old, even if no longer in service.
- VA pensions – These are given to wartime veterans who are 65 years old and older, have permanent and non-service-connected disability, and have limited income.
Just like filing a personal injury claim, there are also steps to keep in mind when applying for any of these VA disability benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs. These include the following:
- Consult a VA attorney before you file your claim to give you some legal advice.
- File your claim and submit a copy of your discharge papers, indicating your full name, service dates, the type of discharge, your social security number, and many more.
- After filing, you wait until the VA informs you of the receipt of your papers. A representative will evaluate your claim and start to gather pieces of evidence.
- The evidence submitted will be reviewed, and a decision will be issued and mailed to you.
- If you disagree with the decision, you may file an appeal.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many things to consider if you want to obtain your VA benefits. Luckily, with the information presented above, you’ll know where and how to start with your claims process.
Also, don’t hesitate to hire a veterans law attorney to help you navigate your application properly. That way, you can rest, knowing that your rights and interests as a military veteran are protected throughout the filing process, and you eventually get the benefits you and your family deserve.